Three years ago, Jewish Family and Children’s Services opened the first intergenerational Memory Café in Waltham, Massachusetts, designed to help people living with dementia feel comfortable and successful. The café hosts free monthly social gatherings for those living with dementia, and their family and friends. At the gatherings, community members and Brandeis University students serve as volunteer co-hosts, and a guest artist facilitates a creative exploration activity. For care partners, the café is a much-needed break and a chance to have fun together without focusing on the disease. One spouse of a man with Alzheimer’s said, “We can’t wait to come back. This is the first positive activity we’ve had in months!” As one of Massachusetts’ largest social service providers, JF&CS is able to offer the Memory Café free of charge because of generous support from individuals and organizations, including the board of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
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